7 Ways to Read the Bible (and Actually Meet God)

Often we simply read scripture for information, to follow a rule, or as an academic pursuit. Reading to meet God sounds like a great idea and the ideal for a Christian, but how do we actually do it? How can we change our mind-sets to view Scripture as a living, rich revelation instead of a religious tome of instructions and history?

Here are seven ways.

1. Read the whole story.
Many of us learned to read God’s Word from children’s Bible storybooks made up of individual stories—Adam and Eve, David and Goliath, Jonah and the big fish (of course it was Jonah and the whale back then), the boy’s five loaves and two fish, and so on. We learned to look for stories, snippets of Scripture. And usually these came with a moral lesson about trusting God, making the right decisions, being honest, serving others, or something else.

The other main way we heard the Bible taught was character centric, like a series of mini-bios. We studied the lives of Abraham, Joseph, Ruth, Saul, Solomon, Esther, Peter, and Paul. We were taught about their shortcomings and their faithfulness. We learned that they were examples for us to follow, just not perfect ones.

We must learn to read the whole story of Scripture from beginning to end. The Bible is God’s story of redemption, the revelation of Himself and His plan for the world. All those stories and all those characters are parts of the whole, characters in the drama, but none of them are the point. They all point to the point: Jesus Christ came, lived a perfect life, died an innocent death to save sinners and kill death and sin, and will one day return to right all the wrongs. Sure, some parts of the Bible are confusing and dry, but they fit in the whole too. And when we understand that there is a whole narrative, even those parts start to make sense in their context.

2. Look for Jesus.
This is the advice I would suggest to any Christian who finds the Bible to be stale and lifeless: look for Jesus. So much of what we miss in Scripture is because we look for characters and themes and lessons other than Jesus. But He is both the primary character and the primary plotline of Scripture. To look for anything else first is to rip out the heart of God’s Word. Because Jesus, as John 1 tells us, is the Word made flesh.

Every page of Scripture points to Jesus. It all fits together to point to Him and to glorify Him and depict Him and reveal Him. When we read the whole story and see Jesus throughout the pages, we see Him afresh, not as whatever preconceived notions we had. We see Him as more than a teacher, more than a healer, more than a model character. We see the breadth of Jesus from the man who sat with children and loved widows to the sword-wielding King of justice and glory.

3. When you see Jesus, get to know Him.
In the Bible we have the means to get to know Jesus. We have the means to move past observation and awareness and fact finding to a real, personal connection with Him. How? Like we do in any relationship.

Make it a regular thing. Go back to those Gospels over and over again. God’s word is inexhaustible and can always deepen your understanding and belief. We don’t limit ourselves in conversation with our loved ones because we “talked to them already” and neither should we limit ourselves in the reading of the Bible because we “read it already.”

Ask questions of Jesus in Scripture. Ask about His character. Ask about His values. Ask about His life. Ask about His priorities. Ask about His weaknesses. And let Scripture respond to you.

Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/7-ways-to-read-your-bible-to-meet-god.html

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